STURGIS, MS (WLBT) - Put a dot about middle ways between Ackerman and Louisville and Starkville and this is what you would have found the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of August. Probably about 20 thousand motorcycles and riders and passengers, all in a town with a population of about 206 according to the last census.
I don't know if every state with a town named STURGIS has a motorcycle rally in August in honor of the first one in Sturgis, South Dakota 70 years ago or not. But we do. This is Sturgis, Mississippi's annual rally. And it's a big event for motorcycle fans in our area.
Jim Smith, from Greenville, who taught nearby at Mississippi State for years wouldn't miss the annual rally.
"Oh I like Sturgis. I really do. I was a professor at Mississippi State both on campus and at Stoneville over in the Delta and Sturgis is one of my favorite places. I like the people and this is the friendliest bike rally you could ever attend. Some of them you kind of get scared now and then. No fear here. It's real family oriented," said Smith.
In some ways it's like a preview of the State Fair with all sorts of food and even some pretty good entertainment at night. And rides…well, pretty much one kind of ride. But if it's your kind of ride then this is where you go to see and to be seen. And Jim Smith likes the seeing part.
"I usually just take pictures. I've taken about 2,000 pictures so far. And put them on a web site and I have pictures of the last five years. I like the people. Taking pictures of the character in their faces and the miles they've got on them. A lot of fun," said Smith.
Wendy Trevelyan, of Vicksburg. makes the trip every year with her husband. They celebrate his birthday here.
"But it's fun. Sometimes we've been here and it's stormed and rained but by the time the band starts it's perfect. We usually come Friday morning and leave Sunday about 10 or so. Already pitched the tent and ready to go," said Trevelyan.
And that seems to be the spirit of our Mississippi bikers at Sturgis. Anxious to get here, ready to ride when they are here, and ready to go exploring. And ready to go home when it's over, but already looking forward to next year.
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